Poll

Do you identify as the left, the right, or neither?

The left
76 (46.1%)
The right
24 (14.5%)
Neither
65 (39.4%)

Total Members Voted: 165

Author Topic: Are you the left?  (Read 4691 times)

maizeman

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #100 on: August 10, 2018, 02:20:01 PM »
Thanks for the education on the Australian system folks! Yeah, if most people are living off of the government provided old age stipend instead of private savings accounts I agree my explanation doesn't make sense.

Reduced transfer payments to low income households because people in Australia who have a job have a job that can cover all of their basic necessities makes sense as another plausible explanation,* as does a lower cost of healthcare meaning that government provided healthcare (which the USA does provide for the old and the quite poor) costs the government a lot less in Australia than providing healthcare for the same number of people in the USA.

I don't think subsidies are large enough to move the needle on total government expenditures. For example the USA spends about $25B/year in farm subsidies. Call it 0.1% of GDP.

Financial.Velociraptor, the interesting thing to me is that if you means test benefits by reducing payments to high income folks, it shows up as a reduction in government spending as a percent of GDP, but if you do the same amount of means testing by increased taxation of government benefits government spending as a percent of GDP remains the same.

For for example, if you just wanted to cut the government expenditure as a percent of GDP number, you could do all sorts of interesting things, like exempting all government employee salaries from income tax, but cutting all government employee salaries by the amount they'd pay in income tax.**

* Apparently 17% of all personal income of the average individual's income (edit: whoops, misread the original source) in the USA now comes from government transfer payments, from food stamps to social security or traditional "welfare" payments. Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/06/upshot/welfare-and-the-public-imagination.html

**In principle anyway. In practice, it gets messy because of two government employees with the same salary may pay very different tax rates if they are single, married to a non-earning spouse, or married to an extremely high income spouse.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 02:22:03 PM by maizeman »

deborah

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #101 on: August 10, 2018, 03:04:33 PM »

gaja

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #102 on: August 11, 2018, 04:04:53 AM »
The United States is unique in it's strong support of business and capitalism, as well as some other aspects of the US constitution.
I'm not the only one who disagrees with this - look at Germany, Switzerland...

When I looked it up, I came up with https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1212/the-5-most-economically-free-countries-in-the-world.aspx

Sure, but Germany and Switzerland have other attributes that aren't so common in the US.

Switzerland has it's near universal militia.   Both Germany and the Swiss have a reputation for meticulousness that the US does not have.

Anyway the US is just a strawman.    My point remains that the different nation states offer a lot of diversity around the world.

I might be misunderstanding what you are arguing here, but the borders of nation states are continuously changing. Norway didn't gain independence until 1905, and only left with parts of the pre-union territory (lost Iceland, Faroes, Greenland, Jämtland, Härjedalen and Bohuslän). Earlier in history we lost Shetland, Orkneys, Hebridies, and Isle of Man. But the "new" borders split the Sami territories into four different countries. The different German states were only united into one country in 1871, while Switzerland still has four distinctive language/cultural regions and a lot of different (relatively independent) cantons.

In my view, the great variety in world has to do with the changes in the world; people moving, borders shifting, technology changing. The only thing we know for sure about borders, is that they will change. Trying to stop the change causes conflicts and wars.


GuitarStv

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #103 on: August 11, 2018, 02:07:25 PM »
Stopping change might cause conflict and war, but randomly drawing lines on a map and calling the result a country has caused an awful lot more in recent memory.  :P

gaja

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #104 on: August 11, 2018, 02:21:42 PM »
Stopping change might cause conflict and war, but randomly drawing lines on a map and calling the result a country has caused an awful lot more in recent memory.  :P

The big problem is that most areas have people with vastly different opinions about where the lines should be placed. Even relatively peaceful neighbours such as Greenland/Denmark and Canada. So no matter where they end up, someone will disagree. But yes, you are right: Belgium was a mistake.

:P

deborah

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #105 on: August 11, 2018, 02:27:57 PM »
Stopping change might cause conflict and war, but randomly drawing lines on a map and calling the result a country has caused an awful lot more in recent memory.  :P

The big problem is that most areas have people with vastly different opinions about where the lines should be placed. Even relatively peaceful neighbours such as Greenland/Denmark and Canada. So no matter where they end up, someone will disagree. But yes, you are right: Belgium was a mistake.

:P
Most of Africa was more of a mistake.

scottish

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #106 on: August 11, 2018, 02:28:33 PM »
The United States is unique in it's strong support of business and capitalism, as well as some other aspects of the US constitution.
I'm not the only one who disagrees with this - look at Germany, Switzerland...

When I looked it up, I came up with https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1212/the-5-most-economically-free-countries-in-the-world.aspx

Sure, but Germany and Switzerland have other attributes that aren't so common in the US.

Switzerland has it's near universal militia.   Both Germany and the Swiss have a reputation for meticulousness that the US does not have.

Anyway the US is just a strawman.    My point remains that the different nation states offer a lot of diversity around the world.

I might be misunderstanding what you are arguing here, but the borders of nation states are continuously changing. Norway didn't gain independence until 1905, and only left with parts of the pre-union territory (lost Iceland, Faroes, Greenland, Jämtland, Härjedalen and Bohuslän). Earlier in history we lost Shetland, Orkneys, Hebridies, and Isle of Man. But the "new" borders split the Sami territories into four different countries. The different German states were only united into one country in 1871, while Switzerland still has four distinctive language/cultural regions and a lot of different (relatively independent) cantons.

In my view, the great variety in world has to do with the changes in the world; people moving, borders shifting, technology changing. The only thing we know for sure about borders, is that they will change. Trying to stop the change causes conflicts and wars.

Somebody up thread was arguing that we should eliminate all the borders between nations, with the intent being to allow the developing world the freedom to prosper like the developed world.   I may have misunderstood, but I didn't like the idea, so I was commenting that there are advantages to the way things are now.

LonerMatt

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #107 on: August 11, 2018, 04:56:26 PM »
Diversity is not dependent on nation states. That's a stupid argument. Culture is not dependent on nation states. That's also a stupid argument.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 05:00:09 PM by LonerMatt »

gaja

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Re: Are you the left?
« Reply #108 on: August 11, 2018, 05:18:12 PM »
Stopping change might cause conflict and war, but randomly drawing lines on a map and calling the result a country has caused an awful lot more in recent memory.  :P

The big problem is that most areas have people with vastly different opinions about where the lines should be placed. Even relatively peaceful neighbours such as Greenland/Denmark and Canada. So no matter where they end up, someone will disagree. But yes, you are right: Belgium was a mistake.

:P
Most of Africa was more of a mistake.

The African borders were deliberately set by gready bastards, and have caused only misery. Belgium, with their 5+ levels of bureaucracy and pissing statues, have at least some entertainment value.

I can agree that having different countries has value, since you can test different types of government, and adopt to the geographical differences. But the borders as they are today only have value if the inhabitants agree, and if they contribute to keeping the conflict level low.

To;dr: we would like the Faroes and Shetland back now, please. And we need to discuss the lack of payment for Isle of Man, Orkney, and the Hebridies before brexit goes through.